Thursday, May 27, 2010

MyPoWriYe #57 - I Want to Ask My Teacher

My mother used to tell me the story of her own mother, also a teacher.  Back in the 1950s, students loved my Grandma Florence.  But they were curious about things.  One day, Grandma walked in the ladies room of her school.  As she opened the door, she heard a student exclaim, "You mean teachers go to the bathroom?!"  This little story is one that I've heard and thought about many times, especially as my mother was a teacher and I was a fifth grade teacher who now teaches writing.  Old family stories, the ones we hear and tell over and over again are deep wells for writing topics.

Students - what stories does your family tell?  Can you remember old stories about you or stories that took place before you were born?  Stories are the glue that holds a family together.  Stories help us know ourselves and our memories through the years.  A poem about an old family story may keep that story alive for another generation.

I always share poems with our children, and Georgia gave me a line for this poem, the line wondering if the teacher has a first name.  Thank you, Gigi!

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Lovely poem, Amy. Used to wonder this exact thing. Have a good long weekend!

  2. Dear Deb,
    Thank you! I am sure that your students wonder this about you! It's fun to dip back into the things we wondered when we were little.

  3. Dear Mrs. VanDerwater,
    We just read "I want to ask my teacher". We thought asking lots and lots of questions without giving us answers made us think and to be curious. Taylor liked the introduction about where the poem idea came from with your Grandmother's story. Some of the questions made us laugh!
    Your 2nd grade friends,
    Mrs. Luft and class

  4. Dear Mrs. VanDerwater,
    It's Ms. Luft's class again! FIVE years later and we are still enjoying this poem you wrote! This class liked all the questions because they helped us see inside what students might be wondering about their teachers. We liked the ending in particular because it turns the perspective onto the teacher.
    We decided to give it a try! Here you go...

    I Want To Ask My Student

    When we're not at school
    What else do you do?
    Do you have any hobbies?
    Were you out sick with the flu?

    It was fun to write this together!
    Please write back and let us know what you think of it!
    Ms. Luft's 2017 2nd grade class :)

  5. Hello,
    It's Ms. Luft's 2017-2018 class! We read the poem I Want To Ask My Teacher and giggled at the questions!Some of the questions are things my students were wondering too! We would also ask "Do you ever order pizza?"
    Talk with you soon!
    Your 2nd grade fans

  6. Hello once again Mrs. VanDerwater,
    It's Mrs. Price's class! We read your poem I Want To Ask My Teacher and thought of a few more questions we'd like to ask our teacher:
    Do you stay up late at night?
    What TV show do you watch?
    Do you have a fright?
    What games do you play?
    Where do you dream to go?
    We look forward to visiting the Poem Farm again soon!
    Your friend in writing,
    Mrs. Price's second grade writers :)

  7. Dear Mrs. VanDerwater,
    It's Mrs. Price's 2nd grade class! We just read your poem "I want to Ask My Teacher" and loved it! We think you are very brave to share all your personal thoughts and feelings in your poems! We thought this poem was funny! A few more questions we'd like to ask our teacher are:
    How old are you?
    What time do you go home?
    Do I make dinner?
    We CANNOT wait for you to visit our school in November!
    Mrs. Price's class

    1. Dear Mrs. Price's Class,
      What an absolute treat to receive your note. Thank you!
      I love thinking about family stories old and new to when I write. Each family is full of stories, and we can keep them alive by telling them in books and poems. This poem makes me laugh too, and it makes me think about my grandmother who would have turned 116 last week if she was still alive.
      Writing does require some bravery, and I am grateful for your kind words.
      I so look forward to meeting you soon!